Thursday, June 30, 2005

Spinning Report

spun romney
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I"m at a weird place with my spinning...I think I'm spinning very thin yarn but then when it's plied it becomes, um, not thin. Worsted weight. Not sure how this is happening, although I'm currently blaming it on my wheel and the fact that the ratios (which I honestly don't understand) don't allow me to spin the way I want. I'll try to learn a bit more about this today. But in the meanwhile, here is the peachy pink Romney from elemental affects that I spun up (two ply).

spun silk merino
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And here is the silk merino from Ewe to You...very pretty but not as fun to spin as the Romney (and neither are as fun as Alpaca).

I think I need to spin more often in order to get better...

IN other news, part two of the horrible seminar was yesterday...and it was great! As bad as the first one was, this one was very enlightening.

Oh...don't forget to visit My Button Website and let me know what you think about the buttons I've made. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

New Projects

featherfan sock
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I've started the feather and fan socks from the book Socks Socks Socks (what will be the sequel be caleld? Socks Socks Socks Socks?). THis is done with Patons Kroy in the Hip Hop colorway (I think!). Very fun and colorful, I guess I'm calling these Happy Socks part 2.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I started the Fishing Creel from the Folk Bags book. It is sort of hard to see, but this is a basketweave pattern, very interesting. This is done in Alice Starmore scottish heather.

Finally, I've been going crazy making buttons! I'm wondering if the buttons might be sale-able. I'd love to get some feedback from my blog visitors on the buttons...both good and bad! If you have a moment, please visit My Button Website and let me know your thoughts. Thanks!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Happy Feet part deux

Handsome feet
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
It was a fiber happy weekend, with lots of spinning, felting, knitting, and general wooly fun. I finished the xox socks for Tim--the color is actually a pearl grey, not the tan they look here--but the important thing is the xox pattern down the sock. I'm a bit proud because I did the cuff according to a pattern but then winged the foot with the cable without a pattern, and it turned out fine.

Big feet
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I finished the pink ballet they are pre-felting.

just right.
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And here they are post felting. If I was to knit these again (fiber trends pattern) I would make the strap at least 3 or 4 inches longer (15 stitches or so) since the straps don't quite meet the edge of the slipper. I'll felt a button for a closure.

I started yet another sock, the feather and fan sock from Socks Socks Socks using a multicolored yarn. It is gong well. I spun some of the merino silk, it is beautiful. Pics soon.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Black Sheep Gathering! Yowza!

we are ohhh soooo beautiful
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I've spent about six or seven hours doing Black Sheep Gathering activities, and it has been a total fiber overload (in a good way). I started Friday with a solo shopping trip. Remember my shopping list? Nah, neither did I. First stop, these great rovings from Elemental Affects .

spin me spin me
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Two more stops and i scored this hand painted roving (on the left) from Ewe to You in Sutherlin, Oregon and this beautiful blue and raspberry angora/wool rovings from Windsor Farms Rabbitry in Silverton.

sock yarn a go go
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I did have sock yarn on my shopping list, so imagine my delight when The Bellwether had 20% off all their yarn including the yarn you see here. Yes. You heard right. Cherry Tree Hill onthe left for 20% off and Koigu KPPPM on the right for 20% off. I'm so psyched. So if these are discontinued colors that you can get for like a dollar on eBay DO NOT TELL ME.

I also bought some white Navajo-Churro Roving, some black Jacob/Romney Roving, and some brown Alpaca in a pictures of those though.

ooh buttons
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Today was my button making class, and we made four kinds of wet felted buttons. This pictures don't do them justice, they are so great looking! Going clockwise: red and blue toggle closure, 'agate' buttons, stick button, and silk/wool felted buttons. This was a great class, taught by Loyce from Chocolate Sheep Gallery in Carlton, Oregon.

After the class Tim and I checked out the animals, I bought some alpaca and some navajo-churro rovings, and some sock yarn that Tim picked out.

I haven't even told you about all the great animals I met. Their caretakers, too. The terrific shop people and my great felt teacher. I had a great time at this year's BSG.

And in fact, I have some finished objects to show you but I guess I'll save those for another day.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Secret Palapalooza

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
My KRSP sent me a terrific package that arrived yesterday---thank you Secret Pal! It felt like I was opening Mary Poppin's carpetbag...more great stuff kept coming out!

First, three balls of yarn: black dk, Beaux in black, white and gold, and gold Baffi, which is a flag type yarn. As I was pulling out the balls, I thought "this would make a pretty bag" so imagine my delight when I pulled out a pattern for an evening bag made of those three yarns!!! And it is from Ram Wools , one of my favorite shops in the world. But wait, there's more!

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
And if that wasn't enough...the package also contained this gorgeous lilac sock yarn (sock yarn!! how did she know??) that SP said was hand dyed in Canada (home of Fleece Artist. I love Canada). Also, these cute knitting note cards, two hysterical fluffy sheep pens, and hand felted soap!

I love the Secret Pal program. The idea that someone you don't know will send you great stuff with faith that someone THEY don't know will send THEM great stuff does a lot to restore my confidence in people.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

BSG Tomorrow!

The Black Sheep Gathering starts tomorrow and goes through Sunday. I'm so excited...fiber fiber fiber! I'm taking a class in buttons on Saturday morning...buttons buttons buttons!

Here is my shopping list:

-sock yarn I can't buy in Eugene
-spinning fiber: natural (for dyeing)
-spinning fiber, preferably silk/merino, beautifully handpainted
-natural dye stuff (will make a list)
-orifice hook
-size 2 circs in a fabrication I can take on a plane (bamboo? birch? bryspuns?)

So let's see how I do...I'm going first thing tomorrow morning. I've discussed a budget with Tim and we've reached a level that we both appreciate. What a good guy!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Things that are too big

big slipper little foot
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
I've had this fiber trends pattern for felted ballet slippers for about a year, but got the desire to cast on yesterday. I finished the first one, as you can see.

Look closely: you'll see a white sock and a bit of yellow toe. This is the end of my foot. This slipper is easily double the size of my foot, and thanks to the magic of felting, this will hopefully fit like a dream after felting. And when the next one is done.

This is one of those patterns that makes NO SENSE when you read it but makes perfect sense during the actual knitting.

Frodo, um, Evan boots
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Steve sent me this picture of Evan's feet with the little booties I knit for him. They are a bit (a bit? who am I kidding?) too big for him right now but I'm betting they fit sometime soon.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Stash Rehash

I had to reorganize my stash yesterday, as it has been exploding all over the house. Now it is somewhat organized into five different groups:

1. Fingering and lace weight yarn
2. Wool yarn for felting
3. Novelty yarn
4. "Good" yarn for planned projects (some lorna's laces for clapotis, some of Mario's yarn for a sweater)
5. The rest of the yarn: relatively large numbers of relatively inexpensive yarn that I'll use to teach myself new techniques.

I'm very pleased with my organization, and also wtih the fact that I can shut the yarn closet door!

My library is having an adult reading program, which is a great idea: you read three books, you write a brief review of them in this little pamphlet, you turn the pamphlet in, you get a free coffee at the library coffee shop! And you're entered in a drawing to win a weekend at a hotel on the coast! And you can fill out as many pamphlets as you like (thus increasing your caffeine intake and chances to win the weekend). Plus, you get a darling little notebook to keep track of your thoughts.

I've always been sort of jealous about summer reading programs for kids, so this makes up for that. The first book I'll review will be the new Monica Ferris mystery.

Monday, June 20, 2005

One fish...

two fish
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
two fish. I finished a second fish in the Fishy Blankie yesterday..and this picture shows you how they fit together. They are big, big, big...but cute. Look at those cute little smiles. And those bobble eyes. This will turn out adorable, hopefully Evan will enjoy it.

It was a busy weekend, with hiking, moving furniture, cleaning the house, friends for dinner, and of course the dye experiment (see below) so not much knitting was done. But a good weekend was had by all.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

I've been dyeing to tell you about...

dye experiment one
Originally uploaded by kbshee. experiments with Kool Aid Dyeing.

Overall, it was interesting...the colors aren't quite as vivid and bright and, well, koolaidy as a expected. I used knitpicks fingering weight wool in both these experiments. Experiment one involved laying out the yarn on a plastic bag and pouring the koolaid mix onto the plastic. I used four colors of kool aid on this one.

de1 in the bowl
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Then I plopped into a glass casserole and did the zap in the microwave thing.

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
Then came the rinsing (and vain attempts to get the grape smell out of it), and the hanging of the yarn in the tree to dry.

de2 in the bowl
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
For dye experiment 2, I bypassed the plastic-on-the-lawn step and put the wet yarn in the casserole, pouring the koolaid on it directly. Koolaid, though, does not 'blend', that is, red and blue koolaid do not purple make. Instead, mixed koolaid makes sort of grey brown dye. Pretty, yes?

Originally uploaded by kbshee.
The yarn from experiment 2 looks very similar to the experiment one yarn, with a few more white spaces for sort of a dye-tie effect. Lessons learned: 1. kool aid produces pretty consistent colors. 2. if you dye with koolaid, you better like those colors a lot.

Friday, June 17, 2005

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish...

purple fish
Originally uploaded by kbshee.
...Purpley Blue fish.

This is from Knitter's 51: the MC Esher-like Fish afghan. The one in Knitters was made from Worsted, with each fish ending up about 6 inches long. Well, I am adapting this somewhat for a baby blanket for Evan, and am making it in Paton's Bella. This fish is 24 inches wide and about 12 inches high at the longest point. So about six fish, one on top of the other, will be about the right size for a crib. To give you a better visual idea, the fish on top will face in the oppostie direction, and wil fit in snuggly on top of the purple fish.

Confused? Sorry! I'll post pictures when I get more finished.

In other news, 10 years ago today was the day I married my wonderful Tim. It seems like yesterday, and every day has been a gift. I love you T!!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

5.5 Hours I'll Never Get Back

I spent 5.5 hours in a "Grant Proposal Writing" workshop yesterday, sponsored by my esteemed University for faculty interested in getting big bucks in government funding. I was looking forward to it, since I've never been able to crack the grant writing code. However, the 5.5 hours were broken down into the following activities:

  • Hokey 'introduce yourself' to people you'll never
    see again activity:.25 hours
  • Information on grant funding organizations, which was
    superfluous to this group since we were supposed to come
    to the workshop with a funding source in mind: .50hours
  • 'Canned' Presentations by University administrators
    containing no applicable information : 1.5 hours
  • Interruptions by workshop participants with
    personal agendas: .75 hours
  • Two five minute bathroom breaks : .50 hours
  • Instructor saying "do you guys get this?" .50 hours
  • Actual useful information on writing grants:1.5 hours

    The highlight was meeting Nora the Crab Researcher, who sat next to me. She studies Crab Molting. She is my 'partner' for the pre-part-two workshop, which involves putting together a draft of a proposal, sending it to your partner, and getting critiques. She's looking forward to critiquing my proposal on schema theory and pharmaceutical web sites. And personally, learning about crab ektoskeletons was the clear highlight of my day.

    And no, I didn't take knitting. What was I thinking?
  • Wednesday, June 15, 2005


    Steve and Evan
    Originally uploaded by kbshee.
    First, there's Evan, the best FO of all. We met him last night, and he's great. Steve and Jen seem happy and tired and wired and excited and relieved and all those things that new parents are supposed to feel. Gauss (their dog) is a bit confused. All is well!

    done sweater
    Originally uploaded by kbshee.
    I finished this sweater for my Mom...honestly, that &^@#$% paton's divine does not do justice to the box lace pattern (but it does make it easy to sew up and sew in the danglies). T his cardigan has bell ribbed sleeves and a ribbed collar, but you can't tell because of the complete lack of stitch definition in the yarn. Not a problem. Now. It's done. Yay.

    Monday, June 13, 2005

    What's New?

    Today is a good day. Evan is on his way home from Portland, and that means he is in good shape. Hooray! We had a busy day yesterday...we took a three mile hike (1.5 miles straight up, 1.5 miles straight down) and then hung out for the rest of the day. Today I've given myself the gift of a knitting day. Happy Knitting day to me!

    One side of the cable scarf
    Originally uploaded by kbshee.
    I just started this reversible cable scarf for my brother for Christmas. It is made with Alpaca from elann, doubled...and oh, does this feel soooo good.

    Other side of the cable scarf!
    Originally uploaded by kbshee.
    And here is the other side! I love reversible cables. And I love alpaca. I love this scarf.

    The Sweater Laid Out
    Originally uploaded by kbshee.
    I finished the sleeves to this sweater but it didn't all fit in the picture, so this is just the front and back. I did this with Paton's Divine and please, please remind me that:

    -this yarn is horrific to use
    -never think about using this yarn again.

    Sunday, June 12, 2005


    That word has many different meanings at this time of the year.

    First of all, commencement ceremonies were yesterday. I get very emotional when sending all our students out into the world....and yesterday, with a record graduating class, I alternated between weeping and smiling so much that my gums dried out! Commencement is one of the few times when I see our students
    a. dressed up
    b. awake and
    c. completely happy.

    It is fun albeit weird to meet their parents. Most of them are nothing like their kids, which surprises me.

    So that was yesterday.

    It is also commencement of my summer break...the first summer in a while that I haven't had a major committment in terms of time (ie teaching). I have a lot of things I want to do this summer, and they all fall into three categories: reading stuff, fiber stuff, and home stuff.

    Reading: I'm looking for good books to read, I just finished a group of essays by Susan Orlean and started on a book about literary London by Anna Quindlen (which is giving me more ideas of books to read). Harry Potter, of course.

    Fiber: I"m taking a class in felted button making at the Blacksheep gathering, and I've also purchased a couple of books on natural dyes, so I'm planning on trying that too, on top of all my knitting and spinning plans.

    Home stuff: We need to seriously get rid of junk in our house (to make more room for yarn) (oops did I say that).

    And finally, I'll spend time with Jen and little Evan, who is doing great and expects to be returning to Eugene with his parents either Monday or Tuesday.

    And now on to the knitting news:

    Originally uploaded by kbshee.
    I turned the heel on the xoxox sock and am now in the process of finishing the foot. This is made with Kroy sock yarn, which is Tim's favorite yarn to date. The pattern is a bit hard to see but I think this sock looks great in person. I like socks, I like doing cables, so this is the perfect project for me.

    Originally uploaded by kbshee.
    The Handmaiden Scarf is being blocked in the laundry room: it is sitting on top of a peach colored towel so it is a bit hard to see all the beautiful colors, but trust me, it is quite a pretty site. After I weave in ends I'll steam block the edges to even it out.

    Friday, June 10, 2005

    Evan Update!

    Evan's heart has a clean bill of health.

    Lookie lookie!

    Originally uploaded by kbshee.
    I haven't had much time for knitting, but that doesn't mean there is no yarn fun here in Eugene. Look what came in the mail yesterday! Seven, count 'em, seven pairs of balls of sock yarn from the Herschnerr's Kroy Sale ($2.27 a ball). I should be set for socking for a bit, dontcha think??

    Originally uploaded by kbshee.
    These two books came from Amazon: I'm going to try natural dyes this summer.

    Originally uploaded by kbshee.
    Even though I haven't had time to knit, there is still plenty of Yarn Play in my house. Here is the guest room, home of the stash closet. The other morning it was clear that one or two cats had much yarn fun while I was asleep.

    Originally uploaded by kbshee.
    And count the skeins/balls randomly tossed around in this pic...five? six?

    Thursday, June 09, 2005

    Quick Update

    Little Evan is doing good, still in Portland but the really bad prognosises (prognoses??) have gone away and he'll probably be back home Saturday or Sunday. Big sigh of relief.

    Little knitting has been done, and I'll write more tomorrow.

    Wednesday, June 08, 2005

    Please Hold a Good thought for Evan..

    Baby Evan is in Portland getting tests done on his little heart...there is an issue with a valve that may need some attention. His parents are extraordinarily calm about it and I hope with all my soul that this can be resolved as he grows. Please think a good thought for Evan over the next few days. Thank you.

    Frodo's Coming!

    Jen went into labor last night....yeah, I wrote yesterday that it would be the 17th at the earliest. Hold a good thought for her and for Frodo. It will be a busy day with trips to take care of their dog, Gauss, on top of stuff at school but hopefully it will have a good ending.

    Update: Evan Thomas Hackstadt was born at 6:45, 7 lbs 3 ounces, Mom and baby are doing great, Dad sounds a little worn out. We are so happy for Jen and Steve and know Evan will bring skeins of joy into their lives. We can hardly wait to meet him!

    Tuesday, June 07, 2005

    And so it goes.

    Cable sock: 4 inches on the cuff.
    Shawl: 75% done.
    Sweater: ready for the sleeve shaping of the two fronts.

    Clearly, I could post pictures but they won't look that much different than pictures I've posted before. So if you want pictures let me know, if not, just scroll down and add a little bit more and that should do it.

    I had lunch with my friend Jen. She's ready to become a Mom, and her doctor said that her due date (June 14th) is probably the earliest that little Frodo will enter the world. Tim is betting on June 18th. June 17th is Steve's mom's birthday (and Tim and my anniversary) so I think it would be nice if he came then. But we're pretty flexible. :-).

    I've been wrapping up my work for school, my grad students are turning in their final papers tomorrow, and I have meetings on Wed. and Thurs. to watch the students present their project to the Governor and the Trustees (yes, sort of a big thing, but I'm highly peripheral, sort of the designated grown up) and then I'm done, done. done. Yay!

    Monday, June 06, 2005

    June is Bustin' Out All Over...

    Originally uploaded by kbshee.

    It is cold and rainy here. I am wearing wool socks and a cashmere sweater. The chances of graduation ceremonies being held outside this weekend are slim to none. Bummer.

    However, it is the perfect whether for knitting wool socks. I started on this one with a 'hugs and kisses' cable (I think the official name is an aran braid)... you know, the xoxoxo cable. I"m a few inches into it and I like the cable. I've never done cable socks before, and if you didn't already know: cables on little needles are difficult. Forewarned is forearmed.

    Originally uploaded by kbshee.
    I'm more than halfway done with my lacey shawl. Can you guess how I know? Yes, I bought two skeins of hand dyed yarn (Fleece Artist Hand Maiden) and while the colors match, one skein is predominantly pink and the other predominantly blue. I thought for a whle about alternating a row from each skein, but then thought that a half-and-half would be fun too.

    Sunday, June 05, 2005

    #$%&*@! Sweater

    I wrote earlier that I was having some trouble with the sweater that I'm working on...the box lace pattern in Paton's Divine. Yesterday I worked on it and I think I frogged more than I knit. Aargh. I think I'm going to put it aside for a while and then go back to it when I'm a bit calmer about it. It is frustrating me to no end and frankly. life is too short!

    I took a finishing class at Soft Horizons yesterday....when you teach yourself how to knit you can learn an awful lot, but there are always going to be things that you need to see happening in person. Like stitching shoulders together. And making one. Anyway, the class was good...about half things I knew already, and half things that I didn't know, so it was good. I have samples that I can use in the future, so that is another benefit of the class.

    I'm going to start on the xoxo socks for that I feel better about putting the sweater aside. It seems I do better on it (yes, I'm back to obsessing about the sweater) when I have a few quiet hours or so to concentrate on it. But I"ll stop obsessing now (yeah, right).

    Originally uploaded by kbshee.
    As I mentioned in my previous post, Tim displayed some of his beautiful ceramic sculptures at a neighbor's yesterday. It's part of a state-wide open studio program in Oregon.

    The open studio information is at Oregon Crafted but be warned that this site was under construction when I checked today.

    Friday, June 03, 2005

    Stop Thief!

    Someone found one of our credit cards numbers and charged up a storm yesterday. We were on the phone with the CC company for a while last night getting the details...this was one of those situations where the CC company calls and says "have you been charging a lot on your card today?" After Mike from the Fraud Department did his thing, we called the CC back and confirmed that Mike worked for them and we didn't get sucked into a scam. But Mike is real and more interesting, we got a list of things that the person bought.

    Lots of stuff from the Talbots. Some stuff from Abercrombie. Phones. A web service.

    Hmm. Doesn't take much to figure out the demos on the thief.

    We don't know how they got the number...its a card I don't carry and Tim only uses for large purchases. But whatever. It is handled. But the lesson is...what? Always check your statements, I guess. This was a fairly simple thing to take care of, mostly because the CC company found it. But it could be much, much worse. It is sort of ironic because I'm going to focus a class in the fall around the concept of "Identity theft". So now I'll have some real-life context to put on it.

    So that fun, combined with a highly problematic Doctoral student, made last night not very enjoyable. Luckily, the weekend is here (well, in six point five hours).

    It will be a crafty weekend. I'm taking a finishing class at my LYS (taught by Mona the spinning goddess) and Tim will exhibit some of his ceramics at our neighbor's open studio. So I'll have lots to show (hopefully) soon.

    Thursday, June 02, 2005

    Good Sock Kharma

    Originally uploaded by kbshee.
    Is it just me, or are these socks adorable?

    I'm sad that these socks are done, because I loved making them. But, I've got some good sock kharma going on. I've bid (and lost) a couple sock lots on eBay, and I've missed out on someone selling bearfoot on KR twice (twice!) Last night, before I went to bed, I thought "I wonder if Herschnerr's will have sock yarn on sale."

    And whadya know.

    First thing this morning: email from Hershnerr's. Kroy, $2.27 a ball.
    And free shipping.
    And 14 balls on their way to me.

    Not ONLY that...I posted a query to KR asking for a sock pattern with an OXOX pattern on it (to make for Tim, who should have hugs and kisses all day long). (From me). And some wonderful KRer posted this link to a pattern that will work great. And Tim can have his choice of about six different colors.

    Good sock kharma. Can't beat it.

    Wednesday, June 01, 2005

    Rabbit Rabbit

    Happy First Day of June.

    I'm at a weird place knitting-wise...I'd post pictures of where I am but it would look like the other pictures, only more so. If you know what I mean. I finished the back of Mom's sweater and am working on the ribbing for the two fronts (it's a cardi, obviously). The second of the happy socks is about an inch away from the toe, and the shawl is the shawl...about 2 feet or so long right now, unstretched, so maybe 3 feet by now stretched. I'll just use up my two balls of handmaiden until done.

    I'm reading a good book: The Law of Bound Hearts. It is about two sisters who have a falling out, and haven't spoken for six years. One of the sisters (the one that instigated the falling out) now needs a kidney transplant. The characters of the two sisters are very well crafted, and it certainly resonates for anyone who has had a falling out with someone. It also led me to think: would I give a kidney to my brother (we're not close, but the answer was a resounding yes). So, the book passed one of my tests for being a good book: it made me think about how the situation would effect my life.

    Do you have 'tests' for books?